Reservoir development is increasingly moving towards unconventional resources such as tight reservoirs due to the rapid decline in conventional reserves. Several researches have been done in the petroleum industry addressing significant influence of non-Darcy flow behavior on well deliverability and reservoir performance. In all of the previous works, it is generally believed that the non-Darcy flow in a reservoir, if occurs, becomes considerable within a few feet around the wellbores beyond which it is negligible. Furthermore, when mentioned non-Darcy effect in the literature, attentions are usually attracted to gas wells with high production rates (i.e. rates higher than 10 MMSCF / day).
In this paper, correlations that are typically used for determination of non-Darcy coefficient are reviewed. Then, it is shown that the correlations are distinct and lead to considerably different values of the non-Darcy coefficient for the same rock sample. A simple guideline is also presented for choosing the most appropriate correlation for a reservoir. Main body of this paper is directed at accurate description of non-Darcy flow in fractured tight reservoirs. This study evaluates the validity of a widely accepted assumption, which considers non-Darcy effect significant only within a few feet around wellbore of gas wells producing at high rates. A synthetic simulation model is made using the data of a well from one of the Iranian fractured tight reservoirs. A full feature compositional simulator is used for the computations in this study. The distance out of the wellbore is subdivided into a number of regions, and then the necessity of including the non-Darcy component in each of the regions for better performance predictions is investigated. The effect of accounting the non-Darcy term in each of the regions on the simulation results such as production rate, final recovery and pressure behavior is studied. Furthermore, three distinct reservoir fluid types including dry gas, gas condensate and black oil are used with the objective well model to evaluate dependence of non-Darcy effect on the type of flowing fluid. The study results are used to provide guidelines about the necessity of global consideration of the non-Darcy term in simulation of different fluid systems even at low production rates. The results highlight that contribution of the non-Darcy component to flow can be significant even far away from wellbores, thus it must be considered globally in the bulk of reservoirs. Additionally, the study demonstrates that the role of non-Darcy component can be crucial even at low production rates regardless of reservoir fluid type. Therefore, in order to have accurate modeling, design and successful implementation of projects, simulations of fractured tight reservoirs must be performed with the global inclusion of the non-Darcy flow formulations regardless of the type of flowing stream and levels of production rate.